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3 Ways of Paying for Nursing Home or Assisted Living Care


paying for nursing homes

Nursing homes and assisted living facilities can be very expensive but there are ways to make your long-term care dollars stretch. There are three primary methods of paying for nursing homes or assisted living facilities:

  1. Private-paying with one=s own dollars;
  2. Using insurance that covers some or all of the cost of long-term care and
  3. Need-Based Government Benefits, i.e. VA Benefits and the Medicaid program.

PRIVATE-PAYING FOR CARE often means total indigence. The cost of nursing homes in Southeast Florida range from about $8,000 to $13,000 per month for one person. Assisted living facilities range from $3.000 to $7,000 depending on the level of care and the facility itself. The cost of home care is no better. The cost of a home health aide runs from $12 to $25 per hour depending on training and how that person is employed. Many people spend all of their savings on long term care and then have nothing left.

LONG-TERM CARE INSURANCE works for some. It can be helpful but few people have long term care insurance and those that do rarely have enough. Most people considering nursing home care do not have long-term care insurance and either cannot qualify for the policies or cannot afford the premiums. Long-term care insurance is therefore often not an option.

NEED BASED GOVERNMENT BENEFITS – This leaves Veteran’s Benefits and the Medicaid program. In Florida, Medicaid pays for almost all nursing homes including the finest of facilities (you sometimes need to know the tricks to getting in!) and Medicaid now covers assisted living facilities and home care as well. In order to qualify for Medicaid, applicants must be below $2,000 in savings and be below applicable income levels.

What Elder Law Attorneys Do

Elder Law Attorneys can help people to ethically and legally convert Acountable@ savings to Anon-countable@ savings, so that Elder Law clients can keep their savings and still qualify for Medicaid. This is done not out of greed but of necessity so that the Elder Law client is not left indigent at the cost of long-term care. In the words of one court, ANo agency of the government has any right to complain about the fact that middle-class people confronted with desperate circumstances choose [to do Medicaid asset protection planning] when it is the government itself which has established the rule that poverty is a prerequisite to the receipt of government assistance in the defraying of the costs of ruinously expensive, but absolutely essential medical treatment.@

Want more information? Call 561-733-4242 and arrange a meeting or go online to www.solkoff.com. Our offices are located between I-95 and the Florida Turnpike in Delray Beach.

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